Getting To Do What I Love

It’s back to school time and one of my first assignments was writing a letter of introduction for Lucas to one of his new teachers.  She asked that we take a few minutes to brag about our kiddos and as you know there is nothing I like more than sharing stories about my kids so here is what I wrote for Lucas’ English teacher (just to let you know, I get a lot nervous when I write to any of my kids’ English teachers…I can just see them sitting there, red pen in hand, marking up my paper.  I hope I get a good grade on this one!)                                                                                                                                   
September 5, 2012
Dear Mrs. Dobrinski,
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do something I love to do…write and brag about Lucas.
I will start by telling you about the dynamics of our family.  My husband and I have been married for almost 19 years.  Lucas is one of three kids.  Our oldest, Zach, is a junior at Deep Run High School, living and breathing academics, football and lacrosse.  Lucas is our second born.  He was born in Germany while my husband was still in the Army (he has since gotten out and now lives the life of a civilian), so Lucas holds both a German birth certificate and an American birth certificate.  Our youngest is Claire who is a 6th grader at Moody Middle School.  She is our “school enthusiast,” always striving to be the best student she can be.  We have a new puppy named Bella who has quickly become a huge part of our family and we couldn’t imagine life without our lovable ball of fur. Now on to tell you the most important information ~ things I love about Lucas…
Lucas is quite a character who wears his heart on his sleeve.  You will always know what he is thinking and feeling by watching the reaction in his eyes.  When he is happy and carefree, his eyes show a mischievous glint (and that mischievous glint can become a full-fledged run into trouble, loveable trouble but trouble nonetheless).  When he is unsure or nervous, his eyes turn down a little and eye contact is hard.  When Lucas is truly bothered by something his whole carefree demeanor flies out the window and he becomes a child I never like to see ~ he becomes quiet and withdrawn.  He may not always tell you what is going on in his messy head but he has a hard time quieting his body language and the heart that beats on his sleeve.
Lucas is a darling and delightful young man who has a zest and exuberance for life that is hard to match.  He is quick to laugh, slow to anger and always ready for fun.  He will give you the shirt off of his back and not think a thing about it.  He is generous to a fault, sometimes giving away the last of whatever it is he has left.  He is the peace maker in our house, always being the one to acquiesce in order to keep life running smoothly.  He tries hard to stay out of trouble but can sometimes be like a puppy who has found himself outside of his fenced in world and feels the rush that comes with sensing too much freedom…in other words there are days his exuberance goes overboard.   
Lucas is passionate about playing hockey.  He has been playing since he in kindergarten, following in his big brother’s footsteps.  He loves every aspect of the game and enjoys the challenges of working to get better and better.  He now realizes, though, that he won’t be going on to the NHL.  He is realistic in what hockey gives to him.  He knows it is a game to be played with passion and stick-to-it-ness.  He treasures the friendships he has made in the ice rink and he knows that the friends he has made on his hockey teams are the foundation for friendships in his future. 
I would like to tell you a story about Lucas that, to me, shows the depth of his character.  Three years ago he was cut from his hockey team.  He was the only kid from the prior year’s team to be cut.  All of his friends made the team, leaving Lucas behind.   It was one of the hardest conversations we have ever had to have with Lucas, letting him know that his friends were going on to play for a year without him.  Lucas was, obviously, beyond disappointed and felt the sting of rejection from his coach but Lucas did something I have never witnessed in a kid his age.  On the day of his old team’s first game of the new season, he asked me if he could go watch the game and “cheer on his team mates.”  He put on his helmet and sat on the bench with his former team mates, opening the door for them as they each prepared to take their shifts on the ice.  He sat on the bench with them and cheered for them when they had a good play or scored a goal.  And when the game was over he came to me and said “I may not have made the AA team this year but I’m going to work hard, get better and make the team next year.”  And he did.  My pride in him for how he conducted himself during this rough spot in his life is second to none.  He showed much more character and poise that year than I could have.  He learned a valuable life lesson and we learned that Lucas will rise above adversity, hopefully always landing on his feet as he goes through life’s trial and tribulations.
Lucas is quite a kid, in my book, and I thank you for letting me introduce him to you.  I hope you find the delightful side of him more often than you see the mischievous side of him.  And when you do find that mischievous side, please know we are here to work with you whenever you need us.  I wish you a fantastic school year and I look forward to meeting you at back to school night. 
Warm Regards,
Jenni Combs-Pokrywka 
And so I got to do what I love to do…write for the love of my children!

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